January 14th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

The Drone Hunter

A camera-equipped drone hovers above your house as you’re grilling in the backyard. So you aim your shotgun, pull the trigger a few times, and just like that, there’s no longer a drone hovering above your house. Were you acting within your rights? That part of the story is less straightforward and is the key question of a case that could be the first of many, as our laws struggle to keep up with our technological innovations. (Maybe if you’re an Amazon Prime member, your delivery drone shoots back.) From WaPo: You may be powerless to stop a drone from hovering over your own yard.


The Bear Market

The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road earned the most Oscar nominations, Sly Stallone got his second acting nod for playing Rocky (39 years after his first), and not a single performer of color was nominated for the second straight year. Something tells me host Chris Rock might have something to say on that topic. The LA Times is tracking the stories and reactions. And here’s the complete list of nominations (or as parents of small children like to call it, next year’s streaming movie queue).

+ And everyone’s favorite category: 17 Biggest Snubs and Surprises. Among them, Star Wars was shut out of the top categories.

+ Leo DiCaprio earned his fifth nomination, but he has yet to win one. And he’s not the only actor in that boat.

+ On the other end of the spectrum: The Razzie Noms.


Another ISIS Strike?

“At least two civilians and five attackers died in the assaults, described as an attempt to mimic the deadly Paris attacks.” ISIS has claimed responsibility for the latest terrorist attack that led to a multi-hour shootout in Jakarta.

+ What’s the biggest threat to polio eradication? Terrorism. From Slate: Suicide bombing attacks Pakistan polio eradication center as part of larger assault on vaccine campaign.


We Have Some Winners

While we’re still waiting on data from a few states, we know that there are at least three winners who will take home a big share of the $1.5 billion Powerball lottery. Whoever won can take note of the fact that they beat longer odds than those of dying from an asteroid impact: 1 in 74.8 million. I didn’t buy a Powerball ticket because the love of my friends and family are riches enough for me. (Oh whoops, thought this was Facebook…)

+ Don’t toss your ticket just yet. Some of the “losers” are still winners.

+ Vice: Here’s what happens to the billions of Powerball dollars that nobody wins. (Maybe they should be used to prop up the Chinese stock market?)


Belle Chapo

“I am very excited about seeing you eye to eye, in person. We will embrace each other soon!” We’ve read a lot about El Chapo’s obsession with having a movie made about his life, and how that led to a meeting/interview with Sean Penn. The texts between Joaquin Guzman and Mexican actress Kate del Castillo tell a different story.


United’s State

At times it seems like social media was created because people needed a place to vent their complaints about United. The airline has been working hard to change its perception in the marketplace, but it hasn’t been easy. Bloomberg’s Drake Bennett has an update: A bungled merger. A corruption scandal. Three CEOs in a year. But hey, at least the snacks are free again.


Let Them Eat Fake

“In an ideal world, I would take the next 1,000 children born, randomize them into two different groups, and have half of them eat nothing but fresh fruit and vegetables for the rest of their lives.” (My kids would somehow end up in the Doritos group). We can’t run life-long tests like that. And that’s one of the big reasons why (almost) everything you know about food is wrong.

+ The Daily Beast: Sorry, Vegetarians: There’s a Cauliflower Shortage.


The Voice

Upon news of his death at the age of 69, movie and theater fans are remembering Alan Rickman’s greatest roles, and his range that stretched from Die Hard to Harry Potter. And of course, we’re remembering that singular voice.

+ The acting world pays tribute.


I Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

It’s hardly news when a band breaks-up and then gets back together. But what about when the break-up is very public and is accompanied by a farewell concert and a documentary? From Amanda Pretusich in The New Yorker: Hello Again: The Weirdness of the LCD Soundsystem Reunion. (Even weirder, “they’re scheduled to appear [at Coachella] alongside a newly reunited Guns N’ Roses, an iteration that will purportedly include both Axl and Slash.”)


Bottom of the News

“One person gave a toast. A product manager at Dropbox broke into song. In a corner, a programmer named Brent took off his shirt, revealing a milky chest and back, then sat with his head bowed. (He would later walk around wearing a handwritten sign that read, ‘Please touch me.’)” The NYT Magazine on a new approach to happiness taking off in Silicon Valley: Cold, hard rationality. I still remember when people in the Valley were happy as long as they were vesting.

+ Syndicated from Kottke: James Corden does this thing on the Late Late Show where he drives around with singers doing karaoke in a car. Yesterday, he picked up Adele and they drove around singing a few of her songs and then she did, without dropping a word, Nicki Minaj’s verses from Monster.

+ Pricenomics: How a 90-Year-Old Missing Person Became a Hit on Spotify.

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